1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

December 23, 2008

:358 Microwave Oven Tester

Filed under: :358 Microwave Oven Tester — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 5:04 am

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:358 EcoTip: If you use a microwave oven, it is prudent to keep your distance and only use an oven that is properly operating. A number of microwave leak testers are available that can be used to provide a rough approximation of whether an oven is leaking or not.

q660_product Professional Equipment Microwave Leak Detector

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

A Federal standard limits the amount of microwaves that can leak from a microwave oven. New ovens may not leak in excess of 1 mW cm–2at 5 cm and once placed in service may not leak microwave radiation in exceeding 5 mW cm–2 at 5 cm from the oven surface. The radiation level falls off quickly with distance, so staying 20 inches from an operating oven would reduce exposure 100 fold.

Interestingly enough – some European countries have safety standards that require workers wear safety goggles if exposed to microwave levels in excess of 1 mW cm–2 and some studies suggest that these low levels of radiation exposure can cause cataracts with cumulative exposure.

If your going to use them – it seems prudent to step away from the oven, and don’t let the kids watch the food cook.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

Advertisements

November 25, 2008

:330 Testing Purifiers

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:330 EcoTip: Reverse osmosis water purifiers can be checked to see if the R/O membrane is working properly. This is done by testing the conductivity of the water. Special meters are designed for this purpose, but any electrical conductivity tester can be used. You can also send a sample of your purified water to a laboratory for testing.

tester

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

To use an electrical multi-meter for testing the water to see if the R/O membrane working – set the meter on the conductivity test setting. The probes need to be kept the same distance apart every time you test. Since tap water contains salts and minerals it will conduct electricity. Use a sample of tap water to check your meter reading. The closer the R/O water’s conductivity reading is to that of tap water, the less the purifier is removing.

If you check your R/O water with the meter when the purifier is new – you will have a baseline to compare. You may also want to test the meter with distilled water – which should have no conductivity.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

November 21, 2008

:326 Lead in Water

Filed under: :326 Lead in Water — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:28 am

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:327 EcoTip: Lead is a heavy metal that has been used for plumbing pipes in municipal water systems. It is supposed to be phased out but can still contaminate drinking water.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

National Testing Laboratories offers water analysis for lead and other heavy metals.

Here’s a link to the USEPA water quality standards: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/contaminants/index.html

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

November 19, 2008

:324 Pesticides in Water

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:324 EcoTip: Agricultural runoff results in many types of pesticides and herbicides contaminating our water supplies. If you have concerns about your water quality, you can have it tested for many of the common pesticide and herbicide contaminants. For more information about pesticides in water check out the Pesticide Watch resource center

***********************************

 Additional Information:

National Testing Laboratories offers pesticide in water analysis for the following pesticides, herbicides and PCBs.

Alachlor, Atrazine, Chlordane, Aldrin, Dichloran, Dieldrin, Endrin, Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexachlorbenzene, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene,  Lindane, Methoxychlor, Pentachloronitrobenzene, Silvex (2,4,5-TP), Simazine, Toxaphene, Trifluralin, 2,4-D.

Here’s a link to the USEPA water quality standards: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/contaminants/index.html

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

November 18, 2008

:323 Bacteria in Water

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:323 EcoTip: The presence of E. coli in water is an indicator that sewage or animal wastes may be contaminating your water supply. Testing for E. coli and coliform bacteria is a simple screening test that can tell you if your well or water supply is contaminated with waste material.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

National testing laboratories provides a test kit for the presence or absence of E. coli and coliform bacteria with results two days after the samples are received by the laboratory.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

October 4, 2008

:278 Electric Circuit Tester

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:278 EcoTip: In :074 I talked about using an electric circuit tester as a good way to check your electric outlets to be sure they are grounded and that the wires aren’t reversed. This tester can be used on old two prong outlets to see how difficult they will be to upgrade to three prong grounded

The testers cost about five dollars and are worth every penny. I know one woman that had three brand new photocopiers fail in less than a month. The problem turned out to be the hot and neutral wires were reversed.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

Electric circuit testers are available at any hardware store. They are simple to use – plug them into any three prong outlet, then read-out if the circuit is good or has a listed problem. If there is an issue don’t use that outlet until things get checked by an electrician. You can’t simply switch wires around that can be dangerous and make matters worse by throwing off other outlets further away in the circuit. One electrical mistake in wiring often times results in a cascade effect with other problems developing elsewhere along the electrical path.

For testing two prong outlets to see if they will be easy to upgrade to two prong use a two prong adapter.

  • Plug in the adapter.
  • Make sure the ground wire or connector from the adapter is firmly screwed to the outlet using the screw that holds the electric cover plate in place – this is what will complete the ground – if it is present.
  • Now plug the tester into the adapter. If it shows correct wiring then that outlet can easily be upgraded to a three prong outlet since the electrical box already has a ground coming to it.
  • If the circuit tester says the outlet is ungrounded then it will be more difficult to upgrade. Never use an ungrounded outlet for a three prong appliance. Only use two prong ungrounded outlets for two prong appliances.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

September 23, 2008

:267 Dryer Test Method

Filed under: :267 Dryer Test Method — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:48 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:267 EcoTip: A clothes line provides the most energy efficient method for drying, but if you are going to use a clothes dryer – make sure it is operating efficiently. Here’s a test method you can use to check both the dryer and the ducting to help insure it is working effectively.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :071, :072, :245, :246,

For more information check www.vcisafety.org

The Vent Check® Test Kit has the following Instructions

  1. Place one indicator strip inside empty dryer.
  2. Remove lint screen.
  3. Set the dryer on high heat and time dry.
  4. Locate exhaust vent duct cover. Clip the second indicator strip to the inside of the duct cover on the exterior exhaust vent. Be certain that the measurement end of the indicator is inserted completely inside the vent.
  5. Start dryer and allow it to run 5 – 7 minutes.
  6. Retrieve both indicator strips from their applied locations.

a) If both indicators show red color dot, dryer and vent are functioning properly.

b) If the indicator strip inside the dryer has red dot and the second strip is still white, then the dryer is reaching minimum operating temperature, but the vent system may be clogged.

c) If both indicator strips are white, then your dryer is probably not reaching minimum operating temperature. Disconnect vent from rear of dryer and repeat test with dryer only.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

July 21, 2008

:203 Rotten Egg Odor

Filed under: :203 Rotten Egg Odor — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 5:49 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:203 EcoTip: A rotten egg – sulpher like odor coming from the sink may be your sinks drain or your hot water heater. To test and figure out which it is – run some hot water into a glass. Step away from the sink and swirl the water then sniff it – kind of like checking the quality of wine. If the rotten egg smell is in the water then the problem is probably your hot water heater. If its not in the glass of water, it is probably your septic drain.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Tomorrow I will begin discussing these problems cause and solution.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

July 11, 2008

:193 Reverse Osmosis

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:193 EcoTip: Reverse osmosis is a method for reducing the amount of dissolved solids in drinking water. It works best in combination with other water purification methods since it will not remove volatile organic compounds.

RO involves forcing water through a semipermeable membrane with extremely fine pores.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :190, :191, :192

The following information is quoted from the third edition (released in May 2008 ) of Prescriptions for a Healthy House: A Practical Guide for Architects, Builders & Homeowners:

RO systems will remove a variety of ions and metals as well as some bacterial contaminants (cysts), but not coliform bacteria. RO systems will remove some arsenic (arsenic V but not the more toxic arsenic III). Reverse osmosis is well documented in the literature and in post-treatment testing proves to be effective in removing uranium, but NSF [National Sanitation Foundation] does not certify for uranium reduction, RO membranes eject the bulk of almost any dissolved and suspended contaminant including ionic, organic and silica compounds.

One criticism of reverse osmosis-filtered water is that it is stripped of essential minerals. Although this is true, it is a tradeoff for overall water quality. Most consumers do not depend on water for their nutritional needs but elect to take vitamin supplements or remineralize their RO water. Savvy water treatment companies use a crushed limestone (calcite) post-RO filter to impart a pleasant taste to the water. Parents sometimes express concern that RO removes fluoride added to municipal water for dental health purposes. This is true, but water fluoridation in general is a controversial issue and today most children under professional dental care receive whole-mouth fluoride treatments.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

July 10, 2008

:192 Carbon Water Filtration

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:192 EcoTip: Activated carbon in drinking water filters can help to remove chlorine and other volatile organic compounds. The length of time it takes the water to pass through the filter determines the amount of chemical that gets removed. The slower the water flow the greater the removal.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :190, :191

Be careful when interpreting the quality of a water purifier based on manufacturer’s claims. I was once asked to evaluate a purifier based on test results showing a 99% removal of chlorine. The problem was the manufacturer’s instructions said to install the filter so that it would deliver 1 gallon per minute, but the test was performed with the water being passed through the filter at a rate of 0.1 gallon per minute (ten times slower). The advertised test results were of course much better than what was being delivered to the client’s glass. To get the better results the client needed to slow the rate of filtration down to the test rate.

Chlorine removal performance is easy to test – you can visit any aquarium shop that sells tropical fish and purchase a sensitive chlorine test kit. 

If you want to compare chemical removal efficiency between purifiers before you purchase one, make sure the testing has been performed in compliance with National Sanitation Foundation standards. This will help make sure you are comparing units that have been tested in a consistent way.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.